Are we striking again?

Yes! We had strong support and a fantastic turnout for our 4-hour strike in Darwin and Palmerston on the 19th of August, pushing the message teachers are not prepared to accept the pay freeze. This coming full-day strike involves NT Public Sector workers across the Territory, with the core aim of driving this message home. We chose the 1st of September to line up with the NT Government Parliamentary sittings (29th August – 1st September) and the NT Labor Party Conference (2nd-4th September), so that we would have the widest audience possible when it comes to changing minds.

Do I need to sign in at school on the day of the Strike?

No. You are taking the whole day off work, so you are not required to visit your school workplace at all. However, we are suggesting that members start the day outside their schools, handing out fliers and holding banners/posters, to engage parents/community in conversation about why we are striking.

Do I need to tell my principal I’m striking?

No. You are under no obligation to do so. However, you might like to inform them of your intention as a general courtesy and/or own wellbeing.

What is expected of me on the day?

The answer to this question depends on your location. We are still planning activities across the Territory, in collaboration with the other NTPS Unions. As we learn more details for each location, we are posting them on our website.


Alice Springs


Tennant Creek

Nhulunbuy and Arnhem


Will I lose pay?

It is illegal to be paid when taking strike action. That is what makes the action so powerful. This is an investment made by our members to demonstrate the devastating effect that this wage freeze will have on Education if we don’t see a change.

What do I do about recording Leave?

Record your leave retrospectively in myHR (after the action).

Can I wear a union t-shirt at my school now?

Yes. One of our Protected Actions is that we can wear and display Campaign Materials in the Workplace. We encourage you to wear red every Thursday! If you don't have a shirt to wear, get in contact with the AEU Office to discover how you could buy one or even make one! We have a bunch of iron-on transfers so you can customise a shirt to say anything you like (that supports our campaign of course)!

What do I tell my students?

We advise clearing it with your principal, but suggest: “I’m standing up/showing support for teachers and for education in the NT.”

How can we engage with parents and encourage them to show their support?

We have designed a flyer (opens in a new tab) that you can use within the school community and on strike days, to encourage conversation with parents and non-union members about the wage freeze and the devastating effect it will have on education in the NT. It also provides several suggestions of ways non-members can show support.

What is work-to-rule?

Work to Rule is a protected action where teachers adhere to only the tasks and requirements set out in the Teacher Responsibilty Guide (TRG). Click here for more advice around work-to-rule.

Which NTPS Unions are striking?

There are two groups going on strike on September 1st: Corrections Officers and the Teachers. Several other unions do not yet have the protection to Stop Work for the day but are encouraging their members to attend when they are off shift or on breaks throughout the day. We are planning different activities to capitalise on the times these groups will be joining us. Keep an eye on your town’s page (linked above) to find out more.

Has there been any movement on negotiations?

On Wednesday, an email was sent out from the OCPE outlining an 'improved offer' regarding the NTPS Non-Contract Principals', Teachers' and Assistant Teachers' Enterprise Agreement. As you will have read, this includes a restructuring of the classroom teacher pay scale.

This offer was emailed to the AEU-NT on Tuesday afternoon at 4:00pm and the Branch Executive met at 9:00am the following morning to discuss the offer. Our Executive passed the following motion:

That we reject this offer as it stands, ask that the OCPE engage in real negotiations, and continue with the September 1st action.

While we welcome the employer returning to the bargaining table, we cannot in good faith recommend this offer to our members for the following reasons:

  • It creates a winners and losers situation – some members would gain substantially more than others depending on where they are on the pay scale
  • There is insufficient information on how the proposed senior teacher increment points will operate
  • There is no detail on how the pay increases and bonuses will be paid for – if the funding has to come from existing school funds, then teachers could end up worse off in terms of increased workloads caused by already stretched budgets
  • It completely fails to take into account the real cost of living increases in the NT.

The AEU-NT remains committed to bargaining in good faith with the employer’s representatives but this offer does not go far enough and, in the view of Branch Executive, does not break the wage freeze in any meaningful way. As a result, the planned Territory-wide strike action will still be going ahead as scheduled.

This is not the time to back down. It is a time to stand together in unity and demonstrate our power as a union, and as the whole NT public sector, to achieve a strong result, rather than a half-measure. 

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